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Venezuela targeted by US sanctions for seeking independence, freedom: Iran’s Raeisi tells Maduro

Iran's President Ebrahim Raeisi says Venezuela is targeted by sanctions of the US and the global arrogant system as the Latin American country seeks independence and freedom.

In a phone call with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro on Saturday, Raeisi said the Latin American government and nation seek independence and justice and fight against the arrogant system.

He lauded Tehran-Caracas relations as “strategic,” adding that the development of mutual ties, especially in trade and economic fields, is a necessity.

He hailed last month’s successful local and regional elections in Venezuela which he said show the strength of the Venezuelan government.

Maduro’s ruling United Socialist Party in November claimed sweeping victory in regional elections, the country’s first vote to include top opposition parties in nearly four years.

Maduro’s leftist party won 20 of the 23 gubernatorial offices and the mayorship of the capital Caracas, the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced. The voter turnout was around 41.8%, according to the electoral council.

Elsewhere in the conversation, Raeisi pointed to the position of Iran and Venezuela in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, and said, “Cooperation in oil [sector] between the two countries should take a new form and we need to take greater steps in the field of refineries and petrochemical resources.”

The Iranian president stressed the importance of fully implementing the agreements already signed between the two countries, saying the ground must be prepared for both sides to sign more deals.

The Venezuelan president, for his part, said his country has succeeded in defending national peace through efforts by its people despite threats and attacks by imperialist powers.

Maduro emphasized the need to promote his country’s economic relations with Iran, particularly in the energy field, and urged efforts to create lasting stability in the oil market.

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